Acceptable Quality Level - AQL

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DEFINITION of 'Acceptable Quality Level - AQL'

A statistical measurement of the maximum number of defective goods considered acceptable in a particular sample size. If the acceptable quality level (AQL) is not reached for a particular sampling of goods, manufacturers will review the various parameters in the production process to determine the areas causing the defects.


The AQL is an important statistic to companies seeking a Six Sigma level of quality control.

INVESTOPEDIA EXPLAINS 'Acceptable Quality Level - AQL'

The AQL of a product can vary from industry to industry. For example, medical products are more likely to have a more stringent AQL because defective products can result in health risks. Companies have to weigh the added cost associated with the stringent testing and potentially higher spoilage due to a lower defect acceptance with the potential cost of a product recall.

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